Blog Archives

August 21 – 27, 2014

SANTA CRUZ OPERA HOUSE. The Knight’s Opera House which was located on Union (then Park Street) and Center streets opened 11/23/1877. Jack London spoke there, Paderewski played there and boxer John L. Sullivan spoke there too. Zasu Pitts was in some plays staged here while she was a student at Santa Cruz High. The building was actually moved to Capitola in 1921 and burned down (or up) in 1961.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE August 19, 2014

LATE BREAKING COUNCIL NEWS. Monday (8/18) night’s Peoples Democratic Club (PDC) was a major success. Not only were there at least 130 attendees jamming London Nelson Community Center but we actualkly learned a lot about the eight city Council candidates. We learned that of the eight candidates Gary Knutson was a disdaining no-show which gives us an advance warning how responsive he would be in an elected office. Craig Bush hasn’t a clue about what’s going on, and has an obsession

DEAD ISLAND 2. We read a lot about violent video games…. I haven’t viewed one in years but here’s a new one I stumbled on. Take a look and redefine your definition of bloodshed and violence. Are your children or grandchildren watching and playing this???

with his ability to guide the spiritual and divine rights to our water problem. Coroner Mike Pruger really grabbed our emotions by telling us that he has a daughter who’s addicted to heroin. Every candidate agreed that the needle exchange should not just continue, but be expanded. All present agreed on campaign spending limits and that the City made a terrible mistake in their pursuit of De-Sal without listening to the people first. David Terrazas talked about how he served on some committees and boards while on the council, but no-one could remember anything he ever took a lead or made a stand on. Richelle Noroyan who’s received campaign bucks from developers already, generalized a lot and added few specifics to anything. Cynthia Chase was excellent in her answers to helping LGBT children face the future and her long experience with Gemma and law enforcement Bruce Van Allen had much to say, and had the experience to back it up especially on river restoration and working with all politicians, and abouthis support of public financing of city council elections. Leonie Sherman demonstrated her sharpness and dealt with affordable housing, safe streets and her work in our public schools.

PDC’S FINAL ENDORSEMENTS. 1.Bruce Van Allen was number one in PDC member’s voting on Monday night by a clear margin. 2. Leonie Sherman was next followed closely by 3. Cynthia Chase. Way near the bottom 4. David Terrazas was fourth, 5. Mike Prager was fifth and 6.Richelle Noroyan was at the bottom. No one voted for no – show Gary Knutson or Craig Bush.

CITY COUNCIL POLITICS. The Santa Cruz City Council Candidates Campaign is racing along. Yes, it’s earlier than usual. So far folks are impressed that the candidates are mostly valid, and serious. That means Rodent or Jesus Christ or their friends didn’t take out papers. Crowds of 100 or more showed up at Leonie Sherman’s and Bruce Van Allen’s kickoffs last weekend. Supervisor John Leopold spoke and Assemblyman Bill Monning sent a special message at Van Allen’s Kickoff. The usual surmises were made about which of the other 6 candidates are “MATHEWS MARIONETTES”. Leonie Sherman talked about how Water and the Homeless were the biggest issues she heard in her door to door campaigning. Van Allen’s kickoff was held at a special handicapped section of Harvey West Park that he helped dedicate when he was on the City Council 31 years ago. Just in passing…when you look up council candidate Craig Bush (who doesn’t want to give his age) on Intelius it says he’s 65, but Facebook says he’s 55 and says his birthday was July 1st 1959. What’ll be “fun” and I’m betting very predictable will be to watch the difference between who the PDC has endorsed, who the NAACP endorse, and of course LOBA and The Chamber of Commerce endorsements. Santa Cruz Neighbors can’t endorse because they are 501 c3.

ANOTHER CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM. Ron Pomerantz sent this notice…On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, there will be a Santa Cruz City Council Candidates Forum from 7-9 PM at London Nelson Community Center (Center and Laurel Streets in Santa Cruz). The forum will be moderated by Brenda Griffin, NAACP. All candidates who have filed for the race have been or will be invited to the forum, which is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Questions will be posed by the sponsoring organizations and members of the audience. Some, but not all of the co-sponsoring organizations may endorse candidates in this election contest. The forum is sponsored by: the Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Surf Rider of Santa Cruz County, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Human Care Alliance. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Santa Cruz Chapter Sierra Club, and the Santa Cruz County Community Coalition for Overcoming Racism (SCCCCOR). Yes, all eight candidates have said they’ll be there.

ARANA GULCH GLITCH, PART 2. Michael Lewis, ardent defender of what we used to call the environment in Arana Gulch sends this note… As you may be aware, the City attempted to deny for many years that the Broadway-Brommer Bicycle Pedestrian Path Project across Arana Gulch had two bridges in it: one over Hagemann Gulch and one over Arana Creek. Then, in the Arana Gulch Master Plan Draft EIR, the bridge over Arana Creek was called a “steel bridge span,” soon to be renamed in the Final EIR a “steel span.” Finally, in the plans revealed during the Coastal Commission hearing, they changed the name to a “causeway.” Now, here it is, installed, in all its glory over where Arana Creek flows through the tubes into the harbor.


DEL MAR THEATRE TO REMAIN SECURE. After that Sentinel story about the Del Mar theatre building maybe being sold or re-possessed, many if not all of us worried about the future of the historic theatre. Jim Schwenterley owner/director of the Nick, Del Mar, Aptos theatres assured me last week there was no problem…the Del Mar is in no danger of closing. Jim says that they have a long, long lease to keep it as the Del Mar Theatre and no matter who ends up owning the building (like the city of Santa Cruz or George Ow or anybody)…the theatre stays.

More than that the main auditorium is going right ahead with the installation of the big easy chair seats. Not recliners!!! Jim also says that there won’t be any wine or beer served. He’s tried for years but the City says no. Too many alcohol establishments on Pacific Avenue (or some such nonsense). That must mean that the Cinema 9 won’t ever get a wine-beer license either. So the beef goes on!!

SEA GLASS. During a stroll through the Church Street Art Fair during the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music at the Civic Auditorium I noticed the Sea Glass Booth. I guess by now everyone knows that the supply of that beautiful, glazed, supposedly sun-bleached , supposedly “natural” Sea Glass is never ending. They make it by throwing broken bottles into those small ELECTRIC cement mixers. You knew, right???

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


The Soquel Creek Water District November 4th election will be a barn-burner. Our local Aptos Chamber of Commerce sent out a plea to their membership for three of their own to run for all three open seats. Sure enough they got them. Doug Deaver, a retired administrator, John Prentice – former Ocean Chevrolet manager and currently operator of Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, and Bill Mc Gowan – an employee of Granite Construction. The Chamber’s letter to the members made it clear that candidates did not require experience in water, just to be smart enough to follow the direction of consultants and water district staff. The chamber is playing up the fear of a building moratorium resulting from prolonged drought.

All this seems like a “back to the future” to those of us who remember the days when the District was run by the good old boys, who never saw a project they didn’t like, and never knew the meaning of the word conservation. It’s taken years to elect forward-thinking Directors that have done an excellent job. You can view their qualifications and accomplishments here.

There are a total of nine candidates running for three open positions, but my prediction is that this election will revolve around the two slates of candidates, the Chamber of Commerce slate and that of the incumbents, Directors Jaffe and Meyer. I plan on following this one closely. (Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

BBC’s Dave Allen Comedy Skit. Dean Hagen of Florida found this gem..

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary discusses his “measure J” and tells about threats to affordable housing. He says, “The County staff is now recommending that this thirty-five year old program Measure J, be scrapped. Instead of having to “build” affordable housing, builders could choose to pay a fee, instead, and then be excused from further responsibility. The County would get money, not actual housing units. This proposal does not seem to meet the test of Measure J, which requires (on a year by year basis) that at least 15% of the housing units “newly constructed … each year” be capable of purchase by an average or below average income person. If you care about affordable housing, let the Board of Supervisors know what you think. There is more information at “. then he talks about Martin’s Beach. He talks about Monterey Downs the huge development in Seaside and the negative effects it’ll have on our coast.. He ends by giving details on The Public Records Act. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo had comments way back then about bringing more tourists to Santa Cruz. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Our President makes tracks in Iraq…see below.

NEW MUSIC WORKS. On September 5 from Noon to 3 p.m. New Music Works has created a multi location performance piece that we shouldn’t miss. Phil Collins says, ” WATERMUSIC is an especially joyful and community-minded event. It is a shared celebration music and nature. September 5 marks the 102nd year since the birth of composer John Cage (died 1992), and we are enlarging upon this special occasion to honor the San Lorenzo River and its surrounding lands, which are among Santa Cruz’ most beautiful environmental wonders.

12 noon – 1pm; Duck Island 12:00: NMW Ensemble newwatermusicworks, George Frederic Handel with (deconstructive embellishments by Philip Collins and Steed Cowart) A Royal barge circles Duck Island in tribute to the 1717 aquatic premiere of Water Music on the Thames River Water Music, John Cage.

12:30pm: Grammy- nominated William Winant Percussion Group

Fads and Fancies in the Academy, John Cage and

Music for Mallet Instruments,Voices and Organ, Steve Reich

1:30 @ on the San Lorenzo River pedestrian Bridge the NMW Ensemble & Guests play

more WATER MUSIC in a Musical Procession across the San Lorenzo River to Abbott Square.

2 – 3pm; Pacific Garden Mall.NMW Ensemble and friends perform and playMUSICIRCUS: a musical street collage ala John Cage on Pacific Avenue (from Walnut & Cooper St.). From balconies, doorways and patios, passing of friendly merchants, to the radios of passing motorists, for one hour, one block of Pacific Avenue will resonate with indeterminate layerings of John Cage’s infectious musical inventions. Go here for all the intricate details.

LISA JENSEN LINKS.Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, find out what’s new in the Alias Hook universe, learn why a book’s pithy opening lines may be the very last thing an author writes, and take a journey to redemption with the mighty Brendan Gleeson in the new Irish drama, Calvary.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975


ADVANCE WARNING….THE CALVARY. The Nick had a preview screening of The Calvary. It opens Friday, August 22nd and it’s so great that I wanted you to be sure to see it asap, otherwise it’ll be another 6 day quickie that you’ll miss in many ways. Brendan Gleeson is the Roman Catholic priest in a small town in Ireland. The acting is perfect, the photography makes you want to visit Ireland next week. The tension, ethics, morals, God, and murder all combine to make this an award winner. Gleeson should be handed this years Oscar now.Put it on your calendar while you’re thinking about it.

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT. There was a sizable audience at the Nick’s very first Santa Cruz screening of Woody’s latest saga. Ah ha I thought, even with the really terrible reviews of M.I.M. we all still like Woody’s worst films better than most of the rest. I was wrong. This is one of the worst w. Allen films I’ve seen. Colin Firth as sort of a Harry Houdini anti-psychic magician is bitter, mean, and completely unforgivable all the way through the film. Emma Stone is no match for Mia Farrow, Scarlett Johannesen, Diane Keaton, Cate Blanchett, or any of the brilliant feminine attractions Woody has directed in the past. Probably his 2015 film will be better…it has to be.

THE GIVER. This is one of those teen-age book series made into a big time film. The teenagers in the audience loved this sci-fi “1984” future world attempt. Jeff Bridges does an excellent job with his gruffy codger professor role, but Meryl Streep loses points and credability for suffering through this way overwritten, poorly filmed pointless simplistic plot. Don’t even rent it.


EXPENDABLES 3 . What some movie stars won’t do for several million dollars. You take

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren , Mel Gibson, Slyvester Stallone, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Wesley Snipes, Jason Stratham and even Harrison Ford…what kind of a movie can that cast produce??? If you do go, let me know if there’s any reason anybody else should go.

LET’S BE COPS. This numb nutz movie earned a 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. Damon Wayans, Jr

and Jake Johnson are in it and so is Andy Garcia (for some reason, like $$$). Don’t encourage these people to make more movies…don’t go. Read any critic’s review first…they all agree.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. I must confess and proclaim I did not see this movie. Any film that has a talking raccoon named “Rocket” as a major character is more than I could stand. Your guess on this movie is every bit as good as mine. Actually if anyone sees this film and likes it, let me know. Especially if you can think of a reason for anyone else to see it.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES IN 3 D. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a miserable 19. I’m giving it a complete pass…and need a nap much more.

STEP UP ALL IN. One of the innumerable mutant versions of the original Step Up film that starred Channing Tatum. Just look at the trailer online…you’ll agree I’m, sure.


LUCY. Scarlett Johansson struts, slinks and shoots her way to the top in this science fiction thriller. Morgan Freeman loses a few acting points as he pretends he’s some kind of a professor. Amazingly, Lucy topped Hercules in box office money on opening weekend. That definitely proves something. Honestly, it’s a fun story and you’ll stay attached to the screen all the way through. The story is ridiculous, the plot has huge mistakes, there’s not one ounce of logic to it, it’s just fun to watch.

INTO THE STORM. This is a thrill ride much like the award winning Giant Dipper at the Boardwalk. I saw it exactly when we didn’t know if the two hurricanes would destroy Hawaii. This film is about tornadoes and the fools that chase the, You will definitely think of the Wizard of Oz and wait for Margaret Hamilton to ride by the window with Toto in tow. Bad acting, miserable plot but wonderful special storm effects. The Giant Dipper is better and much more believeble.

A MOST WANTED MAN. This is almost Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last film. It got a 90 on Rotten Tomatoes. Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright play various roles as secret agents from The USA, Germany, Islamic territories, Russia and elsewhere. It’s a slow moving and very confusing story from John le Carre’s book. I couldn’t follow the connections and lost interest after the first 20 minutes.

100 FOOT JOURNEY.A more memorable title would be “Slumdog Chef“, or “The Grand Budapest Restaurant” or “Monsoon Wedding Eats Out“. Even Helen Mirren doesn’t save this latest in the “aren’t East Indians cute and funny” type film. It’s degrading to all concerned. But I must confess, I went home and made my first omlette in months.

BOYHOOD. This film made some sort of cinema history because the director took 12 years to film the same cast in the same roles as they aged. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99 but I think the acting is so terrible it shouldn’t have been made…or released. Any sensitivity, reality, sincerity, or emotions are spoiled by the amateurish acting. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play the parents, and they aren’t very good either. Wait and rent it.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. (or APES OF WRATH ) It’s like Snowpiercer in that it has a somewhat serious message on the present and future status of humans. The apes who live in Marin County and ride horses are half human, speak some English and have almost exactly the same values as we do. It lacks the cutesy humor of Roddy McDowell and super stars like Charlton Heston, and is a much more somber comment on our lives after a virus kills off most humans. You could wait and rent it if you have a big screen at home.

GET ON UP. This is the bio-pic of James Brown the self titled King of Soul. All his songs are dubbed, the acting isn’t bad but Brown (according to the film) was one mess of a human. It seems like he had no friends, no family, and was simply unlikable. A genuine downer of a film.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. August 19 has Michael Wallace author of “Wash Her Guilt Away” a new murder mystery, he’s followed by Susan Leask, exhibit curator at the San Jose Museum of Art. On August 26 Mary Altier and Carol Trengove talk about the Pajaro Valley Arts Council’s newest exhibit, then Land Use Attorney and activist Gary Patton takes the second half hour. Sept. 2 we have Julie James and Susan Myer Silton from The Jewel Theatre Company talking about G.B. Shaw’s play “Saint Joan” opening 9/04. Then therapist Alexandra Kennedy talks about her new book “Honoring Grief“. Rose Sellery and Tina Brown discuss this years Fashion Art Show on September 16. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “If you don’t like what you’re doing, you can always pick up your needle and move to another groove”, Timothy Leary. ” Nothing is ever alike. The best thing is the difference. I get to keep what nobody needs”, Diane Arbus. “You are to learn to listen to the cursed radio music of life and to reverence the spirit behind it and to laugh at its distortions”, Hermann Hesse.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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